DQ4-Yoshino

For Discussion of Yoshino, answer the “Questions for Critical Reading” (Emerging 552)

In addition to answering these questions, please do the following:

  • As you read, compile a list of words or concepts you don’t know. For example, who are the “Romantics” Yoshino compares himself to at the end of the Preface?
  • Come to class on Monday with a content question and an analytical question of your own to discuss in groups.

14 thoughts on “DQ4-Yoshino

  1. 1. By “new” civil rights, Yoshino is talking about the fight to express one’s true self. He describes the true self as being one in which someone identifies themselves with. This true self, as described by Yoshino, gets masked by the false self, the self expressed to the world in order to better assimilate with it. While this “false” self has a negative connotation, it is in fact a good thing. Yoshino explains that the “false” self serves the very important task of protecting the true self until it is socially acceptable for it to reveal itself to the world.
    It is new because in the past, the old civil rights was just about being able to live peacefully in the world with the differences you had whereas now, the focus is on being able to look past your differences to focus on what you have in common with one another. It also differs from the old civil rights because the old only took place in the U.S. The new civil rights, urged by Yoshino, wants be on the global level.

    2. “Covering,” as described by Yoshino, is the act of hiding your true self with a false self. To further describe this concept, he gave examples of famous people who “covered” their ethnicity or religion by changing their name to one more socially acceptable. He urges the new civil rights to readers so that no one will have to “cover” their true identity; they can be who they are freely with no judgment.

    3. Yoshino thinks we can achieve the “new” civil rights by getting rid of our false selves. This way, everyone will be expressing who they truly are and cannot judge others. To further his position in his essay, Yoshino, being a gay Asian American, mainly used examples of gay people because he could better relate which made his argument stronger. He also included information about Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X to link the old civil rights to the relevance and necessity for the new civil rights. He said that toward the end of their lives working for the old civil rights, both men understood that rights like this needed to be spread globally. Therefore, they switched from the old civil rights to focus on human rights.
    Unfortunately, I do not believe that Yoshino’s vision is possible. People are too judgmental. It would be very unlikely that people would let their guard down to let their true selves come through. Although I don’t believe it is possible, I do however feel that this is a goal people should strive for.

  2. 1. The “new” civil rights that Yoshino is talking about is how you are now able to express your true self through sexual orientation, or even race without being shunned. Throughout the passage, Yoshino talks about the clear distinction between one’s true self and false self. He explains how the true self “is the self that gives an individual feeling of being real, which is more than existing, but instead finding a way to exist as oneself.” I found this interesting because we see today that people who have a sexual orientation that they might think doesn’t match societies norms, might find it hard to exist as oneself. This is why there is an opposing self; the false self. The false self “gives an individual a sense of being unreal, a sense of futility.” This would be how someone who hides their true self might define themselves.

    2. Covering is described by Yoshino as hiding your true self with your false self. At the beginning of the passage Yoshino gives us multiple examples of people who we all know who managed to change their name or mask their true self to become more socially acceptable, as they might say. Throughout this passage Yoshino mentions how he believes that his idea of the “new” civil rights will enable everyone to take off the mask and show their true self and get rid of their false self. A good example of “covering” might be masking a birth mark or even blemish on your skin with makeup. It seems that we all hide our true self daily when we cover it up with a “false” mask.

    3. Yoshino thinks that we can achieve our true selves and “new” civil rights by letting go of our false selves. In his passage he speaks of many instances where gay individuals had a hard time shedding their false self. I don’t think that this vision is possible because I don’t think people who have already grown up are willing to change who they are to be their “true self”, but I do think that this vision is very appropriate in a world like this. I believe, just as Yoshino does, that we need to become a less judgmental society because that is the sole reason that many individuals refuse to show their true selves to the world.

  3. 1) What Yoshino means by the “new” civil rights is the gay civil rights. To him, the gay civil rights was amazing, he no longer had to be his “false self” and he was able to show people his “true self”, basically for a huge part of his life, he had to pretend to be someone that he was not because the American society was not at all accepting gay people. The new civil rights had to do with the gay rights movement and the disability rights movement. He defined “liberty” as claims about freedoms we all hold and he defined “equality” claims asserted by a subset of the population. In other words, there really was no such thing as equality because only certain people in American defined this and stayed loyal to the definition which is that all men are created equal, but this clearly isn’t true since gays are not treated the same as straight people and certainly do not get the same respect which is the way that it is supposed to be.
    The “old” civil rights is that contemporary civil rights law generally only protects traits that individuals cannot change, like their skin color, chromosomes, or innate sexual orientations. This means that the current law will not protect us against most covering demands, because such demands direct themselves at the behavioral aspects of our personal childhood. The old civil rights was just about getting by in life with the differences you had that stuck out. This was when Yoshino’s true self was covered by his false self, for he had to hide who he truly was because society was not yet accepting of gays yet. Which was why the false self is really important – it was protecting the true self until society was accepting enough. Now with the new civil rights, we are more able to look past our differences as a society and focus on what we all share in common because we are all human beings.

    2) What Yoshino means by “covering” is “to cover is to tone down a disfavored identity to fit into the mainstream. In our increasingly diverse society, all of us are outside the mainstream in some way. Nonetheless, being deemed mainstream is still often a necessity of social life. For this reason, every reader of this book has covered, whether consciously or not, and sometimes at significant personal cost.” In other words, when people cover, they are trying to hide pieces of themselves from society, things that perhaps don’t fit under the social norms, maybe things that people would possibly judge you for. Covering your true self with your false self is what Yoshino was explaining throughout his argument. It is in the aspect of conformity to society, people don’t usually enjoy being different in a strange way, we all love fitting in. Yoshino gave examples of people changing their name to have more of an “americanized” name that is easier to pronounce. I can personally relate to this example because being 100 percent Italian and learning that my ancestors came from Italy to America with the last name of “Tourigiani” and shortened it to “Touri” to fit into the American society and have an easier name to pronounce. I find this upsetting because I would love to have the original last name and show how proud I am of my heritage.

    3) Yoshino believes the way that we can achieve the new civil rights is that people who are not lawyers should have reason-forcing conversation outside the law. Yoshino wants the new civil rights to be on a global level. People should pull Goffman’s term “covering” out of academic obscurity and press it into the popular lexicon, so that it has the same currency as terms like “passing” or “the closet.” People confronted with demands to cover should feel emboldened to seek a reason for that demand, even if the law does not reach the actors making the demand, or recognize the group burdened by it. He wants people to have to stop hiding behind their false self and show society who they truly are. These conversations should happen in public like restaurants, the workplace, schools, playgroups, chat rooms, living rooms, public squares, and bars. He wants people to stick up for what they believe in and have a voice and make their voice heard so there is progress with this new civil right to the point of true equality for all groups. I do believe that his vision is possible if enough people make their voice heard then I believe that anything is possible. You just need a big enough group that all have the same views and will make what they want happen no matter how long it takes. I do believe that it is something that we should all strive for because America is known as the land of the free where all men are created equal, but the fact that some people have to cover who they truly are is a huge problem. We should definitely strive to make it known that America is where men are created equal no matter what. But, we have to keep in mind that we can’t judge others who are different than us because then this plan would never work.

  4. 1. The “new” civil rights is having the right to be your true self and not have to hide anything. Yoshino defines the true self as the self that gives an individual the feeling of being real. Only the true self can feel real and authentic. In contrast, he talks about the false self, which gives a person “a sense of futility.” It is what hides a real person from the rest of the world. The “new” civil rights differ because they are for human rights. The old civil rights only “protects traits that individuals cannot change, like their skin color, chromosomes, or innate sexual orientation.” The new civil rights allows people to not care about their differences and not have to “cover” up their true identity because we are all human beings and we should all be treated equal. He defines liberty as claims about freedoms that we all hold and equality as claims asserted by a subset of the population.
    2. Covering is hiding your true self with a false self. Some people feel like they have to cover their race, sex, orientation, religion, and disability to fit in with everyone else. They do this because their true identity is disfavored and they want to be accepted by society and not be ridiculed. At the beginning, Yoshino lists off many names of people who changed their names so they were easier to pronounce. An example of covering might be blacks identifying with white society by wearing white fashion and hair styles to fit in with white people.
    3. Yoshino thinks we can achieve the “new” civil rights by people letting down their guard and exposing their real selves. He thinks there should be a universal impulse towards authenticity and we should think as civil rights in terms of our common humanity rather than as groups. He uses examples of two Supreme Court cases, and Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X who argued for the transition from civil rights to human rights. I do not think his vision is possible because people are very judgmental which makes people feel like they have to hide to protect themselves and fit in. It is definitely something we should strive for because it would be great if we lived in a friendly world where people did not feel scared to be their true self.

  5. 1. By “new” civil rights Yoshino means the ability we have to express our true selves and not hide ourselves. These civil rights are considered “new” because only recently have certain acts and laws been placed on things such as race, sexuality, religion, and disabilities. Yoshino expresses the need to be an individual. He states, “The new civil rights must harness this universal impulse toward authenticity” (Yoshino 555). In the present, we strive to be original and an individual. In the past we tried to conform to the norms and avoid standing out and making a scene. The “old” civil rights worked to make exceptions to the things that made you different such as race and religion. With our “new” civil rights, we hope to look past each other’s differences and become a society that works together and not against each other. We try to focus on what makes us the same, not what makes us different; because in the end we are all human beings.
    2. “Covering”, defined by Yoshino, is to hide one’s identity to fit in with the current times. For example, he described how Franklin Delano Roosevelt covered his wheelchair by hiding it behind a desk. Another example might be someone who has an eating disorder such a bulimia who eats normally around friends and family but then hides away in a bathroom or another place she can rid her body of that food. She is hiding her true self.
    3. Yoshino thinks that we will be able to achieve our “new” civil rights by getting rid of what he calls our false selves. If we do this, we will express our true selves and stop judging others. Yoshino wants people to stop hiding behind their false selves and be who they want to be. He mentioned people such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X who worked towards equal rights. After working most of their lives on civil rights within the states and country, they began to realize that these efforts must be spread globally. Since he is a gay Asian American, he mentions a lot of examples of the gays fighting and supporting for their rights. Their efforts must also be spread globally. “New” civil rights focuses on efforts being spread globally.
    Personally I do not think that Yoshino’s vision is feasible. In this world, people are too judgmental and stiff. There is no way that people would feel comfortable letting their true selves shine around people who are too quick to judge them. Even though it seems impossible, it does not hurt to make it a goal for ourselves.

  6. 1. By “new” civil rights, Yoshino means the expression of one’s true self. True self is described as how someone identifies themselves. Yoshino describes the true self as getting masked by a false self, which is the self that is expressed to everyone else. Yoshino explains that having a false self is very important in protecting the true self until it is acceptable to be revealed to everyone else.
    It is new because in the past, the old civil rights were about being able to live peacefully with the differences you had. Now, it is being able to look past differences and look at what you have in common. Also, these new civil rights are on the global level.

    2. “Covering,” as described by Yoshino, is the hiding of your true self with a false self, usually to blend in with others or to hide your background. Yoshino gave examples of famous people who had “covered” their ethnicity or religion by changing their name to a more socially acceptable name.

    3. Yoshino thinks we can achieve the new civil rights by getting rid of false selves. If people get rid of their false selves, only their true selves would show and they would be expressing who they truly are to everyone and wouldn’t judge others. He included informations about Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X in order to link the old civil rights to the relevance of new civil rights. Towards the end of their lives working on the old civil rights, both realize that the rights should be spread globally. I don’t believe that Yoshino’s vision is possible as people are too judgmental and set in their ways of not changing; making it unlikely that people would allow their true selves out for others to see. I still feel that his goal is one that people should try for even if I don’t feel it is possible.

  7. 1. By “new” civil rights Yoshino means that people have the right to express themselves the way they want to express them selves and they don’t have to be afraid to hide anything. He is saying that people can express themselves through their sexual orientation and they will not get shunned. Yoshino mentions that he has come out about being gay and he is able to show him true self because of the new civil rights. For a long time Yoshino disguised his sexual orientation by covering himself with his false self. The “new” civil rights had more say for the gay people and for the disabled people. The “old: civil rights protect peoples traits such as their skin color, chromosomes, or innate sexual orientations. The “new” civil rights protect people’s personal rights, like their sexual orientation.

    2. Yoshino defines covering by saying, “To cover is to tone down a disfavored identity to fit into the mainstream” (Yoshino 552). To cover means to hide what really is you, your true self, with what people would expect out of you, your false self. In Yoshino’s reading there were many examples of true self versus false self and they are all examples of covering. Yoshino also express that, “Covering is a hidden assault on our civil rights” (Yoshino 553). Yoshino uses himself as an example of someone using a cover. He knew that he was gay but since that was socially acceptable when he knew he covered himself with his false self by coming across as not being gay. Yoshino makes a point that since so many people are covering themselves they are being held back from many opportunities (Yoshino 553).

    3. Yoshino believes that we can achieve “new” civil rights by building “a new civil rights paradigm on what draws us together rather than on what drives us apart” (Yoshino 553). Yoshino believes that we can find what draws us together by everyone getting rid of their false selves and only exposing their true selves. By doing this we will all be out in the open and there are no false people. Getting people to forget about their false selves will be difficult but, “one way minorities break stereotypes is by acting against them” (Yoshino 557). As I do no think that Yoshino’s vision is possible because people do not like to expose themselves in todays world. In class we talked how people want their privacy and I believe that this is a thing that they might chose to keep private. There are many people who would also say something and not mean it, therefore giving many others the wrong idea. I do no think that his vision is attainable, just because of the privacy issue in the world today.

  8. 1. When Yoshino talks about the new civil rights, he is saying that Americans need to not celebrate being different from each other, but rather how similar we are. Yoshino explains that everyone covers something in their life whether they like it or not, they do it. “We must instead build a new civil rights paradigm on what draws us together rather than what drives us apart” (Yoshino 553). This, like Yoshino said before, is what makes the new civil rights different from the old civil rights; people are becoming more and more the same, rather than diverse.

    2. “To cover is to tone down a disfavored identity to fit into the mainstream” (Yoshino 552). Many people cover and they don’t even realize it; it just comes naturally to them because they have spent almost their entire life striving to please everyone around them and be like everyone else. I think one prime example of covering is music. There are so many songs out there that have double meanings. But why do musicians use these double meaning? Well, in my opinion, it’s because they are trying not to make their song that could be about drug use, suicide, sex, etc., come out as harsh to its listeners as it possibly could without the cover.

    3. Like I said in my first response, Yoshino believes that we can create the new civil rights by focusing on what makes us similar, rather than what makes us different. I honestly don’t think that his vision is possible, because Americans are constantly criticizing differences in others. If we didn’t focus on what makes us different from each other, the world wouldn’t be interesting. We wouldn’t have fashion, or most things in pop culture–well at least anything appealing to us. I don’t believe that it’s something we should strive for at all.

    1. By “new” civil rights, Yoshino is talking about the fight to express one’s true self. He describes the true self as being one in which someone identifies themselves with. This true self, as described by Yoshino, gets masked by the false self, the self expressed to the world in order to better assimilate with it. While this “false” self has a negative connotation, it is in fact a good thing. Yoshino explains that the “false” self serves the very important task of protecting the true self until it is socially acceptable for it to reveal itself to the world.
    It is new because in the past, the old civil rights was just about being able to live peacefully in the world with the differences you had whereas now, the focus is on being able to look past your differences to focus on what you have in common with one another. It also differs from the old civil rights because the old only took place in the U.S. The new civil rights, urged by Yoshino, wants be on the global level.

    2. “Covering,” as described by Yoshino, is the act of hiding your true self with a false self. To further describe this concept, he gave examples of famous people who “covered” their ethnicity or religion by changing their name to one more socially acceptable. He urges the new civil rights to readers so that no one will have to “cover” their true identity; they can be who they are freely with no judgment.

    3. Yoshino thinks we can achieve the “new” civil rights by getting rid of our false selves. This way, everyone will be expressing who they truly are and cannot judge others. To further his position in his essay, Yoshino, being a gay Asian American, mainly used examples of gay people because he could better relate which made his argument stronger. He also included information about Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X to link the old civil rights to the relevance and necessity for the new civil rights. He said that toward the end of their lives working for the old civil rights, both men understood that rights like this needed to be spread globally. Therefore, they switched from the old civil rights to focus on human rights.
    Unfortunately, I do not believe that Yoshino’s vision is possible. People are too judgmental. It would be very unlikely that people would let their guard down to let their true selves come through. Although I don’t believe it is possible, I do however feel that this is a goal people should strive for.

  9. 1. “New” civil rights Yoshino states is the desire for authenticity, our common human wish to express ourselves without being impeded by unreasoning demands for conformity” (Yoshino 553). Meaning these rights allow us to show our “true self” and we no longer have to hide behind a “false self”. Yoshino defined “liberty” as “claims about freedoms we all hold” and “equality” as claims asserted by a subset of the population” (Yoshino 556). We all have liberty but only a select few have equality. What makes it new is that it is still being built and has not yet been achieved. “New” civil rights differ from “old” civil rights because the new civil rights are focused on personal similarities and looking past our differences. Human beings should be equal and open with each other. Old civil rights are the rights we have for differences out of our control or we cannot change; skin color, religion, or innate sexual orientation.
    2. “To cover is to tone down a disfavored identity to fit into the mainstream” (Yoshino 552). Covering is hiding your true self from society just because they don’t agree with how you are expressing yourself; showing a false self in order “fit” in. Yoshino explained that some celebrities changed their names so people didn’t know their ethnicity and covered their sexual orientation to “get along in life.” An example would be that the majority of people’s favorite color is yellow, and those who don’t like yellow are scrutinized and looked down upon. So, people who like pink or blue or purple or green say that their favorite color is yellow too; even if they hate it to avoid the hatred or judgment of yellow lovers.
    3. By everyone letting our guard down, showing our true selves and getting rid of our false selves Yoshino believes that we can achieve the new civil rights. If everyone revealed there true selves and no longer was ashamed or scared of what others thought. If everyone did this then everyone wouldn’t have to hide. I don’t really think his vision is possible because no matter what people are going to hide things and no matter what people are going to judge others and discriminate. I think we can become more accepting which will make others more comfortable with their true selves and we should strive to make others more comfortable.

  10. 1. Yoshino means when he uses “new” civil rights is that its the people’s right to be their true selves. Yoshino states that the true self is the self that gives an individual the feeling of being real. As he goes throughout the article he says how people’s true selves are hidden by “false self” which is the sense of being unreal to others and your true self. The “new” civil rights differs from “old” civil rights because old civil rights were about traits you couldn’t control, such as gender, skin color, and religion. While these new civil rights are more about looking past all those things, and showing our true selves and not hiding your personal interests.
    2. Yoshino defines “covering” early in the preface. He says “to cover is to tone down a disfavored identity to fit into the mainstream.”(Yoshino 552) What he means by this is that people try to hide them true selves everyday. Basically covering is hiding your true self with a false self. For example, women can hide what they truly look like by using more make up.
    3. Yoshino says throughout his article is that the best way to achieve this is by eliminating false selves. With everyone getting rid of their false selves then all of a sudden no one can be judgmental. He uses examples, like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and supreme court cases to back up how he believes a true self is the only way to do it. I don’t believe that getting rid of false selves will ever happen. This is because its a natural human reaction to occasionally “judge a book by its cover.” This being said, I do believe it is a right mindset to have as a goal for people to lower how judgmental they really are.

  11. 1. He says, “The new civil rights must harness this universal impulse towards authenticity. That impulse should press us toward thinking of civil rights less in terms of groups than in terms of our common humanity”. Yoshino thinks we need to stop giving these groups such as women, gays, and the disabled group-based accommodation claims and give everyone the same rights. This way it is not just because they are part of a group. It is supposed to be rights for all humans, not just “civil rights”. He states that this “avoids making assumptions about group cultures”. He makes a direct comparison with the words liberty and equality that he does with new and old civil rights. Liberty emphasizes all Americans having rights and equality emphasizes a subset of population.
    2. He defines covering “to tone down a disfavored identity to fit into the mainstream”. He also says that we all do it, whether we conscious of it or not. He gives various examples of this in history when people changed their names and hid their gay partners from the public. He claims “this is the most widespread form of assimilation required of us today”. An example of covering I have is when a gay person puts on this front that she is straight by wearing “more straight” clothing and pretending to be into the opposite sex.
    3. Yoshino thinks we can achieve the new civil rights, he does not think we can even move forward without it. He thinks we need to turn away from the law. He thinks people need to seek reasons for their covering and have conversations about it, let it be known and allow a revolution. I do think this is possible if we all take part. If we can all agree that this “covering” of ourselves is unnecessary, the new civil rights can be achieved and we will not longer have to conform to the mainstream.

  12. 1. Yoshino means “new” civil rights by the rights should not show what is different about us but they should be focusing on what is the same about us. They should be Human Rights instead or Civil Rights. The new Civil Rights would project our individualism. The rights should project our true selves not the false selves that we put out their to fit into the mainstream world we live in today. Old rights old projected the traits that you couldn’t control like, gender, race or sexuality. New rights would be deeper then that. They would be about the person we are on the inside.
    2. Covering is acting/being someone you aren’t. An example Yoshino used is the celebrities that change their name so people don’t know their ethnicity to fit into the mainstream America because they think people will like them more if they have a name people can pronouns or don’t want to be known by their ethnicity. This is again at False self covering their True self.
    3. Yoshino says that we can achieve the new civil rights if we get rid of the false self in everyone. He uses examples of the court cases where the courts ruled in the favor of a true false, but I don’t see that we can reach this because everyone judges a book by its cover and Americans have been this way for so long and every in the world for that matter that so everyone to be who they are not not be judge I feel is impossible. There will always be people that are out their judging people and we can’t change everyone. But in theory if everyone could be their true selves then I think that a new civil rights could work, but until people can stop judging others it won’t happen.

  13. 1. “The “new” civil rights must harness this universal impulse toward authenticity” (Yoshino 555). He wants people to be brought together instead of feeling the need to cover. We have felt this need to be ‘mainstream’, but we should have the right to be ourselves. Old civil rights focus on things people cannot change like skin color, chromosomes, and sexual orientation. The new civil rights should be based on similarities.
    2. Covering is when someone tries to cover up something that makes them different from everyone else. We all have a false self that covers up our true self at some time. People try to conform to this idea of being mainstream. Changing your name to hide ethnicity or wearing makeup are ways to create a false self.
    3. To achieve these new civil rights we need to be more open minded. We need to focus on human rights rather than civil rights to emphasize what we all share in common (Yoshino 556). The courts are already starting to understand this concept and siding with minorities to but framing it as equality for all. People are already starting to feel more comfortable being and individual instead of a conformist, so his vision will slowly become possible. I think it is something we should strive for. To be socially accepting of everyone, however, it shouldn’t just be left up to the courts or the “jurisdiction of Uncle Sam”. America is multicultural and we need to accept that idea.

  14. 1. Yoshino brings up the term “new” civil rights, which he believes is necessary to create. This is his way of saying that what is declared in the civil rights today is not enough. In these “new” civil rights Yoshino yearns for, people should not have to “tone down their stigmatized identities to get along in life” which is what people still must do today. He states that we need a new paradigm, one that brings people together but does not force people to conform and keep people from being themselves.
    2. The term “covering”, defined by Yoshino, is “to tone down a disfavored identity to fit into the mainstream”. In this context Yoshino places the fault on the civil rights we have today, that cause people to “cover” their differences, just as people have in the past. Covering is a form of assimilation, meaning the gathering of people from different backgrounds and forced into one group. Instead of a universal resonance, as Yoshino brings up, people hide their “true selves” and “individual feeling of being real”. The quote “…if we look closely, we will see that covering is the way many groups are being held back today”, shows that Yoshino believes with change in our civil rights, covering can be diminished and people can become greater things by expressing themselves.
    3. Yoshino is trying to identify the issue of the civil rights we have, and show that the issues of discrimination in the past still stand today. Not the fact that we are protected from acts against specific race, national origin, sex, religion, disability, or sexual orientation, but the fact that people cover their differences because of the way people treat them. Yoshino wants an explanation to why the civil rights we hold “…[stall] on covering”, people shouldn’t have to feel like they can’t express themselves. And therefore he wants to create a new set of civil rights laws.

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